A band of archaeology students excavating a medieval French castle don’t know that their financing comes from a secret time-travel experiment—until they have to go back and rescue their professor from 1357. Adapting Michael Crichton’s novel, writers Jeff Maguire and George Nolfi scrap much of the story and resort to the silly expedient of having 14th-century denizens speaking modern English and French (Time Tunnel
, anyone?). But director Richard Donner (a notoriously hit-or-miss craftsman) is in good form here, and he patches up the holes in the script by keeping the action moving lickety-split. Billy Connolly is the stranded professor, Paul Walker is his son, Frances O’Connor and Gerard Butler are two of his students, and David Thewlis (sporting a bizarre American accent) is the corporate bad guy.